A development proposal that would return part of an intown residential neighborhood to what it was a century ago has captured the imagination of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia planning commissioners, but neighborhood residents are worried it could bring additional traffic and might force their property taxes upward.
Laurie deVegter, an Atlanta-based real estate agent and developer who specializes in smaller houses, is under contract to purchase a lot of less than a half-acre at 1252 West Hancock Avenue near North Billups Street. She is proposing to divide the parcel, which also fronts on Indale Avenue, into six lots. One of those lots would include an existing three-bedroom house, and deVegter is proposing the construction of five additional homes on the tract. As envisioned, the one-bedroom houses would comprise slightly less than 600 square feet, and would include some loft space, according to deVegter…
She would prefer to develop the property as owner-occupied homes, deVegter said, but one of the problems with that is the lot sizes won’t meet local requirements for owner-occupied dwellings. The tract could possibly comprise rental units, either in a single building or duplexes or some other configuration, although it also might not meet local codes in those configurations. But deVegter would not rule out the possibility of pursuing that option if it became the only viable opportunity for developing the tract.
“It’s hard to do the right thing,” deVegter said in noting her desire to see the property developed as owner-occupied housing.
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